Aqua-Fi: The Internet of Underwater

Aqua-Fi concept and implementation


In this project we implement and deploy Aqua-Fi as a novel underwater system that facilitates internet-connected applications. It is flexible, low cost and low power. The system characteristics involve an uplink data rate of 1.6 Mbps and downlink data rate of 690 Kbps for commands, status correction and overrides, over a distance of 2 meters. Aqua-Fi was first developed using basic LEDs to achieve low cost and simple implementation and then later enhanced to employ bi-directional lasers to facilitate longer coverage and higher link rates.




  • PI-System Integration, "Development of a High-Speed Underwater Wireless Communication System". Funded through Red Sea Center, KAUST, by $900,000 from 2018 to 2020.

Team Members

  • Prof. Mohamed-Slim Alouini, Electrical Engineering, KAUST, KSA

  • Prof. Boon Ooi, Electrical Engineering, KAUST, KSA

  • Prof. Michael Berumen, Red Sea Center Director, KAUST, KSA

  • Dr. Osama Amin, Electrical Engineering, KAUST, KSA

  • Dr. Tien Jhee Ng, Electrical Engineering, KAUST, KSA

  • Chris Bainbridge, Visiting Student, UK

  • Seifallah S. Jardak, Electrical Engineering, KAUST, KSA

  • Omar Alkhazragi, Electrical Engineering, KAUST, KSA

Selected Publications

  • B. Shihada, O. Amin, C. Bainbridge, S. Jardak, O. Alkhazragi, T.-K. Ng, B. Ooi, M. Berumen, and M.-S. Alouini, "Aqua-Fi: Delivering Internet Underwater using Wireless Optical Networks", IEEE Communication Magazine: Design and implementation of Devices, Circuits, and Systems Series, Accepted, 2020. [PDF]

Software Packages

Github folder that has all our development images, code, and results. 
Aqua-Fi on


Aqua-Fi Testbed Demo


Interview on Dubai TV and France24

Dailymail and SciTech Daily

IEEE SpectrumYahoo, TechCrunch, Hindu